As this winter's chilly nights continue, comforting Italian food is on full rotation on most weekly meal plans. But many of these are a labor of love with slow simmering sauces and recipes with step after step of instructions. Until now.
You have likely heard the Instant Pot love stories — perfect hard-boiled eggs, creamy ricotta cheese, flavorful soups, stews, stocks, curries, veggies, meats and more, all made easier and faster than traditional recipes.
This multi-use programmable electric pressure cooker is a game changer in the quest for convenient meal prep. It does the job of a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan and warming pot, allowing busy households to cut down on cooking times without sacrificing taste. Plus, there might be fewer dishes to wash too.
So when Instant Pot and Italian recipes meet, magic happens. Read on for must-try recipes this winter:
Instant Pot Homemade Bolognese
Classic bolognese is celebrated for being meaty yet creamy, aromatic and deeply flavorful. But for the beef and veggies to slowly cook down with wine and tomatoes takes time — up to nearly four hours in some recipes. Instant Pot's Homemade Bolognese recipe, featuring ground chuck and spicy Italian pork sausage, cuts that time significantly requiring just 30 minutes of cooking time.
Here's how: You'll use the Instant Pot to sauté veggies and brown the meat, then you deglaze with red wine before stirring in the final ingredients. Cook on "High Pressure" for 15 minutes and voila: You're done! Yes, really. Serve over your favorite pasta or veggie noodles.
Amy Rains, the blogger behind Wholesomelicious, reimagined an Italian crowd-pleaser in her recipe for Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore. Her version of this hearty dish is chock-full of fresh herbs and veggies (including green bell pepper, mushrooms and artichoke hearts) and boasts a cooking time of only 15 minutes. It can be made fast enough for weeknight meals but the result is sophisticated enough to serve with guests on the weekends too. Amy recommends serving over noodles, veggie noodles or potatoes.
If you’re all about homemade meatballs, check out Easy Instant Pot Meatballs from Mellissa Sevigny, the writer behind the blog I Breathe I'm Hungry. These juicy, tender meatballs cook for just about 10 minutes in your Instant Pot and make the perfect topping for veggies noodles. Have a few more minutes? You can brown the meatballs first in your Instant Pot, but the recipe is still a success without that step.
Check out more of our favorite recipes for Italian-inspired comfort food — no Instant Pot required.